Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What did AJOB know and when did they know it?

According to last week's alarming report by Nature, Celltex is not just a stem cell bank.  It has been arranging unapproved stem cell treatments for seriously ill patients, in exchange for very large fees. The company has apparently paid a Houston physician to administer stem cells to patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkingson's disease at a charge of $7,000 per injection.  A full course of treatment can cost up to $25,000.  As the physician admitted, there is no scientific evidence that these cells are effective. What he did not say was that the cells may also be very dangerous.  As stem cell scientist Paul Knoepfler has pointed out, "(T)he worst case scenario, even for autologous transplant, is death.  The second worse case scenario is severe, life-changing injury." An accompanying Nature editorial stated, “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers it to be a crime to inject unapproved adult stem cells into patients.”

 Glenn McGee, the former editor of the American Journal of Bioethics, has resigned from Celltex, but a number of questions remain unanswered.  Did McGee, the Celltex President for Ethics and Strategic Initiatives, know what Celltex was doing?  What about the new co-editors of AJOB, Summer Johnson McGee and David Magnus?  Is anyone planning to explain?

1 comment:

  1. These are great questions and I, for one, would be interested in the answers.